Fashion: The Department Store- AW12 Harvey Nichols

When the lovely PR girls at Harvey Nichols invited me to their AW12 fashion press day, I was sad to cancel last minute due to travelling back to Manchester from London late at night. However, I was invited back on a one on one basis to be given a personal tour around the store and to be talked through all the latest fashion and beauty brands. I was especially looking forward to this event because I am a self confessed department store junkie. I obsess over premium beauty buys at the make-up counters, before exploring all the luxury clothing labels, and then admiring the designer bag departments with all the new Miu Miu’s and Marc Jacob’s beauties. In Harvey Nichols I’m like a kid in a sweetshop – my eyes are everywhere and my greediness gets bigger and bigger.

I’m not going to pretend I earn mega bucks- I earn enough to treat myself to Estee Lauder make-up and Elemis/Dermalogica skincare and the odd designer top monthly, but unfortunatley I don’t pop in to buy myself a pair of Louboutins every week. I’m the world’s number one luxury brand fan, but sometimes looking is as close as I can get! But with Christmas fast approaching, touring around the store at all the AW12 trends and fashions made me realise that they have a fabulous range of clothing, beauty and accessories that would make brilliant gifts all under one roof. It certainly gave me some xmas shopping list inspiration! And of course, I clocked up some favourite collections for my winter spending…

For one, the shoe collection pleasantly surprised me. I love the ranges of YSL and Jimmy Choo, but even more so the high street designers such as Jeffrey Campbell (Of course, he’s a fellow Campbell like me so maybe I’m slightly biased!) Harvey Nichols have a huge selection of his shoes and boots, all unique and quirky and cool – I wanted them all. For the new season, his boots have gone alot chunkier and feature embellishing, such as studs, which are massive right now. I also got a little bit starry eyed for these Jeffrey Campbell Starry Night Suede Platforms! Amazing!

Whilst previewing all the new season brands and collections, I was impressed with some of my long time favourites brands including Sass & Bide (no surprise there as it’s dressy and uber girly!) Alice + Olivia, and the leader in denim jeans – J Brand. This winter, I am definitley going to treat myself to my first pair of J Brand’s, although I have no idea  which style I’ll opt for as there are so many stylish ones just launched! Wax effect, printed, brights, velvet patterned… when I decide which pair I want, I’ll let you know!

The store is visually stunning for the new season, with striking window displays and instore mannequins. Shadows have been fixed behind each mannequin in the form of floor and wall stickers/paintings, edited with angel wings and bunny ears, and all kinds of humerous ‘things’!

I was also drawn to the latest collection by designer Mary Katrantzou, which features a range of figure hugging dresses in an array of bold, loud prints. They looked so individual and genuinley screamed ‘designer’ – however would you dare to wear one of these? I reckon if you paired with some black tights or bare legs and a large statement bag, you could pull off the look quite well! Or wear underneathe a smart black mac coat…

After admiring label after label of designer clothes, I headed to the other love area of the life – cosmetics. Now when it comes to products and brands, I am loyal only to a certain extent. I know what has worked for me, and with that I will always return and spend money with the brand, but I am always willing to experiment with newness! I talked with the Harvey Nichols PR ladies about my trustworthy Estee Lauder Double wear foundation addiction, but that didn’t stop me grabbing some samples for Bobbi Brown’s new Long Lasting foundation (which can I add, I’ve trialled this for two days now and I am very impressed! It feels lighter and less like a mask than Double Wear, which means I’ll be brand hopping again!) and discussing booking in for a make up consultation with the team at Bare Minerals. I’m true to Elemis, but Dermalogica’s complementary  skin analysis session was also very intriguing, therefore I booked in for a session with the Dermalogica team.

But, whilst on my way out, I spotted what I had been hoping to spot – The Cambridge Satchel Company! If you follow me on twitter (@what_emma_did_) you will notice that I have tweeted my love for the advert which shows the owner of the Satchel brand making her first few bags, then sending them off to fashion bloggers, following up to you tube coverage and then finishing with a collection of neon bags at ELLE magazine’s request. The collection of neon, old-school satchel inspired bags lay neatley on the glass table, surrounded by all the biggest designer brands, yet pricing at £150 upwards. If you get chance, watch the advert, I think its such a lovely story of success!

Anyway, thats my review on my favourite department store Harvey Nichols and it’s AW12 launch. If you live in Manchester or near to the area, it’s definitley a great place to check out this winter for some staple buys, even if not for yourself but for Christmas gifts. Although they also have stores in London, Leeds and Birmingham too.

I saw a fabulous little gift I want to purchase my twin sister for Christmas whilst browsing the beauty floor…. but I can’t tell you what it is as she subscribes to my blog!

Have a nice weekend! x

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